Reigning champion Antonio Felix da Costa (DS TECHEETAH) produced a masterful drive around the historic streets of Monaco in a frenetic Round 7 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship – the Portuguese making the move for the race win half way around the last lap in the last of any number of lead changes.
Mitch Evans (Jaguar Racing) headed the way for a good chunk of the race but as the clock ticked down, energy became a pressing concern for the Kiwi. Da Costa, along with Robin Frijns (Envision Virgin Racing) – himself a leader at points – spied their opportunity to pounce.
The DS driver made “one of the riskiest moves of his Formula E career” stick at the New Nouvelle Chicane on the ultimate tour, locking up but launching by Evans. Frijns followed, though only just – snatching second from Evans right at the chequered flag.
“I am really gutted but I got myself into that position because I used energy during the race,” commented Evans. “I had track position, but Antonio was very strong. I knew he was going to overtake me so I was only trying to delay it as much as I could.
“This result hurts because it’s Monaco and everyone wants to win here. It felt like a very good race in the car and I look to forward watching the replay!”
Evans came home home third, having piloted the widest Jaguar in motor racing history for the final two laps of the legendary motor racing circuit as he sought to conserve usable energy whilst the rabid pack behind hounded him incessantly.
Meanwhile fellow Kiwi Nick Cassidy, one of only three drivers to have never raced in Monaco before, battled fiercely in the mid-pack to finish P8 to make it a double points finish for the Envision Virgin Racing team who now surpass their 1,000th Formula E point milestone (1,020 tally) – one of only three teams to have achieved such a feat.
“Overall, it’s great to bring some points home for the team and a double points finish at Monaco,” commented Cassidy. “For me, I’ve been a little frustrated as I feel the potential is more than what we’ve seen in qualifying and the race. Had it come together better in qualifying I think the race would have been a different story. We’ll regroup now during the break and come back stronger.”
Jean-Eric Vergne (DS TECHEETAH) will be disappointed to have taken the chequered flag fourth, having fouled up his second ATTACK MODE activation. The Frenchman, a winner here in Season 5, was racy and recovered four spots over the final three tours to atone for his mistake, taking the TAG Heuer Fastest Lap point in the process.
That result sent Frijns to the top of the Drivers’ table ahead of previous leader Nyck de Vries (Mercedes-EQ). Da Costa’s victory fired the DS racer to within 10 points of the standings summit at the half-way stage of the season. Mercedes-EQ hold fast at the top of the Teams’ running.
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